Anaplan connects people, data, and plans in real-time in its cloud environment to help customers democratize decision-making across all lines of business and business activities, from strategic to operational levels.
Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)
As a step beyond traditional business intelligence, Anaplan offers a cloud-based subscription for its Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) software — enabling planning, modeling, and collaboration services to power better business decisions and drive better enterprise performance. Anaplan offers a simple interface to its Smart Business Platform, combining connection, versatility, foresight, scale, and self-service, and has captured a considerable amount of market share in recent years.
Anaplan’s Emergence as a Leader
In 2021, we named Anaplan as the #10 technology supplier to watch.
Many of the large suppliers (IBM [Cognos], SAP [Business Objects], and Oracle [Hyperion] among them) offer EPM solutions but none of them specialize on it exclusively as Anaplan does. In addition, Anaplan’s proprietary technology and modeling & calculation engine helps customers model and evaluate expected results from different business decisions before acting on them, providing customers with forward-looking insights by evaluating backward-looking data with an evidence-based approach, enabling faster, more confident decisions that are highly contextualized to certain events. Further, Anaplan’s App Hub enables customers and partners to build, share, and deploy apps in collaboration.
Clearly, there has been solid market acceptance of this technology and Anaplan’s approach as it has experienced high revenue growth. With a total of 2,200 employees, and $447.8 million in revenue (as of the end of FY 2020), Anaplan continues to rise. Revenue growth for FY 2021 is projected to be somewhere around $583-$585 million which would be growth of about 30% Y/Y.
From its own employees, Anaplan has a Glassdoor rating of 3.8 out of 5, with a 67% recommend to a friend score, and an 81% approval rate of its CEO. Employees openly criticize the company's growing pains because of a lack of leadership and certain management challenges, resulting in a weak culture. There have been significant executive shakeups, turnover rates are high, as are reported barriers between teams, and a frequent complaint is that the company routinely ships product enhancements not yet ready for prime time, resulting in customer frustration and field staff firefighting.
Anaplan’s Stock Performance
Anaplan’s stock has gone from a high of $83.99 as of Feb 19, 2021 to $42.82 (a reduction of 49%) as of on Jan 25, 2022, trading just higher than its 52-week low of $39.92. Despite good earnings growth, operating losses are widening, apparently worrying investors somewhat.
Anaplan is a (predominantly) cloud-based solution offered as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and is sold by a user-count on a monthly or annually renewable subscription, potentially with additional add-on charges for various advanced functionality and/or expanded features. There is an on-premises option, but we will not be covering that in further detail in this article.
Like many other cloud-based providers in the SaaS market, Anaplan offers three standard tiers of user access level subscriptions depending on the desired feature set.
- Basic User
- Professional User
- Enterprise User
Each edition has a feature set with different per user per month costs. Discounts are available for committed terms and further discounts are available at various volumes.
Anaplan users’ favorite features are that it:
- Offers integration with Salesforce
- Includes workflow automation
- Supports mobile devices
A favorite advanced feature is that it offers a multi-dimensional planning feature that enables administrators to model different requirements at various organizational levels.
Customers on the Enterprise edition are required to pay for the highest level of annual maintenance and support services, which is an added cost, but also offers additional value.
Anaplan’s pricing is not published, and there are some questions about internal controls. There are vast market inequities and apparently client-specific pricing models that have seemingly been developed by account teams, rather than ones that are approved and governed by the company. This can be good or bad depending, but in the cases we have seen, we can often structure conventional licensing solutions that cost less than the custom metrics that are in use, and we can frequently compare to other market alternatives that are significantly cheaper, so we advise all clients to be careful about custom metrics with Anaplan.
Implementation / Integration Costs
Anaplan is not the type of system you just turn on and use. There is a considerable effort required to implement and integrate the solution with other parts of your organization to help increase the value of the toolsets. Implementation and Integration services generally run for about 9-15 months depending on a variety of factors including the number of connected systems, the formatting and complexity of the data, and the ETL and other business processes used. Enterprise clients typically pay from about $750k-$1.25M with a third-party systems integrator to effectively implement and integrate Anaplan solutions into their environment. Anaplan lists Accenture, Deloitte, EY, Mckinsey & Company, and Wipro as its Global Strategic Partners, among its 200 or so partners.
Configuration / Customization Costs
Customization / Configuration Costs are extra and will depend on your needs and feature requirements. Various factors such as the number, nature, and type of Interfaces, Fields, Forms, Workflows, Reports, and Dashboards will drive your customization costs.
Typical client customizations cost around $300-$400k.
Data Migration Costs
Data migration costs are extra and will depend on a variety of factors such as the number of attached systems, the complexity of the data, the normalization efforts, and the raw amount of data that needs to be migrated.
As a rule of thumb, data migration costs should be no more than $25,000 per 1 million records, so a customer with 20 million records should pay no more than $500,000 for data migration services.
- 20 Million Records = $500,000 Max
Training costs extra and is generally derived from the type and number of training sessions, whether it’s on site and in person vs. remote learning vs. self-training from videos and training materials but training is a critical component of any deal with Anaplan because it’s not a simple fly by wire solution; it takes some effort.
For enterprise accounts, training generally costs $125,000-$250,000.
How to Save
There are many things you can do to save big on your Anaplan agreement.
- Benchmark. Everyone should Price-Benchmark their Anaplan proposal, agreement, and/or renewal. With just a few pieces of information, NET(net) can benchmark your deal (in as little as 1 business day) and show you how much you can save.
- Term. Single-year committed terms offer some price benefit, but additional benefits can be secured with a multi-year commitment, so most clients end up agreeing to a 3-year term.
- Timing. As mentioned above, Anaplan’s FYE is January, and given the backdrop of the other information provided herein, it makes this January a particularly great time to claim value if you have a proposal, an agreement, or a renewal on the table.
- Competitive Evaluation. Anaplan is susceptible to traditional competition from IBM (Cognos), SAP (Business Objects), and Oracle (Hyperion), so if you are an SAP or Oracle ERP customer, you can likely get a very good competitive quote to your Anaplan proposal. Further, if you are a Workday customer, you should consider its Adaptive Planning solution, as Workday is giving excellent customer incentives to take share away from suppliers like Anaplan. Similar story for Salesforce with Tableau. Additional competitors include Axtria, Incentives Solutions, Inconixx, Optymyze, Performio, Prophix, and Xactly among many others.
- Incentive Pricing. When adding additional quantities, or picking up additional features and functionality, customers should seek incentive pricing at discounts better than the originating transaction.
- Right-Sizing. Because volume discounts are available at various volume levels, customers should consider current and future planned quantities in their agreement. To the extent there are clear user communities that will come online during the term of the agreement, those staged users can be included in the purchase volume, but activated based on when they are deployed. This can help customers save on the unit pricing, but also benefit from a ramp-up versus paying for all quantities from the start.
- Right-Licensing. Anaplan works hard to upsell customers to its enterprise edition due to the additional user workspace and ‘Hypercare’ support among other benefits, but with closer inspection, we are often able to determine that the Professional edition will meet client needs, and this can often result in significant savings. In NET(net)’s experience, deployments generally take 9-12 months, and engagement timelines, user adoption, and system utilization is generally slower and less than expected, which gives clients an excellent window of opportunity to grow into an enterprise deployment over time, saving money on the initial 3-year term.
- Include Training. Negotiate a certain amount of onsite training included in your deal at no extra cost. Also, while onsite training sessions are more difficult to include, various other types of training, such as virtual sessions have a significantly lower cost, and can be more easily included in a new deal, so customize the blend to best meet your needs.
- Include Data Migration. Anaplan has a standard ETL tool from Informatica, and should include as part of any deal a set amount of data migration assistance – at least for those systems that can support their existing ETL process and toolkits in the standard supported formats.
- Include Configuration Changes. There is a difference between configuring a system and customizing a solution. Anaplan should be willing to configure the system in a way that is aligned with customer needs, enabling customers to get value from it more quickly. To the extent that certain customizations are required, Anaplan has plenty of customers in various industries and should have a good idea of the standard customizations that can be done to help customers get more value quickly. Standard customizations should also be included at no additional cost, and only the customizations that require a system change should be considered extra and chargeable.
- Negotiate SI Agreement. These SI agreements are also critical to negotiate as they often result in significant delays, huge cost overruns, and failure to achieve important objectives. Depending on your specific situation, you may benefit from one of several different implementation pricing models (whether fixed bid, time and materials, not to exceed, etc.), but all agreements should include transparent timelines and cost estimates based on reasonable assumptions about tasks, resources, rates, and responsibilities. In addition, contractual instruments should be tuned to include all the appropriate documents to minimize potential disputes. Various terms and conditions should be reviewed and negotiated to ensure customers have the proper protections to minimize the impact of change orders, added costs, delayed value, and the loss of functionality. Negotiations with SIs is as much art as it is science, and can help to minimize cost and risk while maximizing the realization of value and benefit, so we strongly encourage all clients to seek professional assistance in structuring their SI agreements.
NET(net) can help you maximize your savings on Anaplan, and with January’s Fiscal Year-End fast approaching, there is no better time to capture value, so Act Now.
Call to Action
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you save 32-60% on all your SaaS investments, including those with Anaplan or Sign up now for a Savings Cloud subscription, and we will get started right away helping you minimize costs and risks, and maximize the realization of value and benefit.
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